Dutch construction company Van Wijnen has joined forces with the Eindhoven University of Technology to create the world’s first 3D printed homes. Using a large robotic arm with a nozzle at its end, the firm is able to layer a specially formulated cement to create interior and exterior walls. They expect to have five 3D printed homes completed by middle of 2019, and hope that by the fifth, they’ll be able to print elements like drainage pipes in addition to the basic structure.
The manager of the firm, Rudy van Gurp, explained that the technology will not only cut costs and environmental damage; it could also address a current shortage of bricklayers in the Netherlands. Van Gurp suggested that the benefits of the technology will allow it to go mainstream within the next five years, estimating that 5% of homes in the Netherlands will be 3D printed by that time. “We are already looking to take a step further,” Van Gurp told the Guardian. “People will be able to design their own homes and then print them out.” The company has listed its first and smallest house for lease starting next year. Van Gurp said that 20 families approached them with interest within a week of images of the two bedroom going online.